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whom honour is due. Ye must be subject, not because of wrath only, but for conscience sake. For he beareth not the sword for nought, for he is the minister of God, to take vengeance on them that do evil."
Read the Scriptures; they The Prophet saith to thee, lift up thy voice like a
Art thou a Minister? will teach thee thy duty. 'Cry aloud, spare not; trumpet, and shew my people their transgressions." (Isai. lviii.) The Apostle saith unto thee, (2 Tim. iv) "Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season; watch in all things; do the work of an evangelist; make thy ministry fully known." Thou shalt give an account for the souls of the people; their blood shall be required at thy hands.
Art thou a Father? hast thou children? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee; if thou hast sons instruct them. Again, "He that teacheth his son, grieveth the enemy, and before his friends he shall rejoice of him. Give him no liberty in his youth, and wink not at his folly; chastise thy child, and be diligent therein, lest his shame grieve thee." Eccles. xxx. 11.) Eli the Prophet, by sparing his wanton children, cast away himself and his children; they were slain, the ark of God was taken, and old Eli fell down and brake his neck. (1 Sam. iv.)
Art thou a Child? hast thou a father? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right; honour thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with promise,) that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on earth." (Eph. vi.) And again, "Children, obey your parents in all
things, for it is well pleasing unto the Lord." (Col. iii.) The wise man warneth thee, "The eye that mocketh his father, and despiseth the instruction of his mother, let the ravens of the valley pluck it out, and the young eagles eat it." (Prov. xxx.)
Hath God blessed thee in wealth? art thou rich? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee. "Be not high-minded, and trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God, which giveth us abundantly all things to enjoy." (1 Tim. vi.) Again, "Trust not in oppression and robbery; be not vain; if riches increase, set not your heart thereon." Thou shalt depart and leave them behind thee; they shall forsake thee. Thou shalt die, thou knowest not how soon. Solomon sheweth thee, "Riches avail not in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivereth from death." (Prov. xi.)
Art thou poor, and sufferest scarcity in this world? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee. Say with Job, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return again." Learn of Solomon, "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without equity." And again, "Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness than he that perverteth his ways, though he be rich." (Prov. xvi. and xxviii.) St. Paul saith, "Godliness is great gain, if a man be content with that he hath; for we brought nothing into the world, and it is certain that we carry nothing out." (1 Tim. vi.) And again, "Let him that is poor labour, and work with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."
Art thou a Merchant? usest thou to buy and sell?
Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee, "This is the will of God, that no man depress or defraud his brother in any matter." (1 Thess. iv.) Thou shalt learn, that "divers weights and divers measures are abomination unto the Lord, and deceitful balances are not good." (Prov. xx.)
Art thou an Usurer? Thy case is hard, yet hear the Scriptures; they will teach thee; God commandeth thee thus, "If thou lend money to my people, to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be as an usurer unto him; ye shall not oppress him with usury." (Exod. xxii.) Again, "If thy brother be impoverished, and fallen in decay with thee, thou shalt relieve him; thou shalt take no usury of him, nor vantage; thou shalt not lend him thy victuals for increase, but thou shalt fear thy God, that thy brother may live with thee." (Levit. xxv.) And, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye unto them." (Matt. vii.) And, "He that giveth his money unto usury shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Psalm xv.)
Art thou a Fornicator, and livest in adultery? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee; "He that committeth fornication (saith St. Paul, 1 Cor. vi.) sinneth against his own body. Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid."-"As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation," (saith St. Peter, 1 Eph. i.) The reason is set down by St. Paul, (1 Thess. iv.) "For this is the will of God, even your holiness,
and that you should abstain from fornication, that you may be holy both in body and in spirit." And, (Heb. xiii.) "Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." They shall have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Art thou a Servant? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee, "Servants be obedient unto them that are your masters, according to the flesh, in all things, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men." (Coloss. ii.) Again, "Please your masters, not answering again; be no pickers, but shew all good faithfulness, that ye may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." (Tit. ii.)
Art thou proud? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee, "Be not high-minded, but fear." (Rom. xi.) "What hast thou that thou hast not received? If thou hast received it, why rejoicest thou as though thou hadst not received it?" (1.Cor. xiv.) And, "Learn of me, that I am meek and humble in heart." (Matt. xi.) And, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." (James i. 4.)
Art thou in adversity? Read the Scriptures. "Great are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver him out of them all." (Psalm xxxiv.) And (Psalm xci.)" He shall call upon me, and I will hear him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and glorify him." And St. Peter telleth thee, (1 Ep. iii.) "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers. God is faithful, which will not suffer you to be tempted above that you be able, but will give the
issue with the temptation, that ye may be able to bear it."-"The Lord is near unto all them that call upon him, yea, to all that call upon him in truth." (Psalm cxlv.)
Art thou a sinner? hast thou offended God? the Scriptures; they will teach thee, "Hate the evil, and love the good." (Amos v.) And again," Fly from evil, and do good, and dwell for ever." (Psalm xxxvii.) "Rise up and go to thy Father, and say unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and against thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." (Luke xv.)
Dost thou despair of the mercy of God? Read the Scriptures; they will teach thee; Christ telleth thee, (Matt. ix.) "I came not to call the righteous, but sinuers to repentance." Again, (chap. xi.) "Come unto me all ye that are weary and laden, and I will ease you."-" At what hour soever a sinner doth repent him of his sin from the bottom of his heart, I will put all his wickedness out of my remembrance," saith the Lord. Again, (Ezek. xxxiii.) "I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live." And (Psalm cxlv.) "The Lord is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works."
Art thou going out of this life? Read the Scriptures they will teach thee; "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." (John xi.) Say with St. Paul (Phil. i.) "Christ is to me both in life and in death advantage; I desire to be loosed and to be with Christ."
To be continued.